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Solidarity Cautions Against Looming Education Crisis If BELA Bill Is Introduced

Neelam Rahim |

2-minute read
13 June 2023 2023 | 17:37 CAT

Image: AfriForum

Trade union Solidarity has warned that an education crisis is facing the country should the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill law, better known as the BELA Bill, be introduced. The bill will see many changes to schools across the country, including, but not limited to, the starting age for children. It also aims to formalise home education and the financial administration of schools.

On Friday, the Solidarity Teachers’ Network submitted its comments on the Minister of Labour and Employment’s proposed regulations regarding the Employment Equity Amendment Act. The network’s comments follow Solidarity’s comprehensive comments, also submitted on Friday.

Policy Analyst at the Solidarity Research Institute, Johnell Van Vollenhoven, told Radio Islam International the BELA Bill would focus on giving the powers of the SGB to the Department of Education, rendering parents unable to make decisions to govern schools and will impact schools in all communities.

According to a report that explains the impact of the proposed regulations on the education sector, this sector will have to get rid of just under 75% of white teachers, 55% of Indian teachers, and 25,3% of coloured teachers. This implies that to meet the minister’s targets, two out of three white and Indian teachers and one out of four coloured teachers would have to be replaced.

In its comments, the Solidarity Teachers’ Network warns the government that the regulations are unfair and that overcrowded classrooms and too little capacity for providing quality education to all learners will burden the already overburdened teachers. In addition, these regulations pose the greatest threat to mother tongue education.

Listen to the full interview on Radio Islam’s podcast with host Annisa Essack.


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